OK, here's the situation: I gave my old system to my dad when I built my current computer back in 2007. I did a clean install of Windows XP before handing it over. It was an upgrade version, but the install is perfectly legal because it previously had a full version of Windows 98. It was one of the very early upgrade discs, not even SP1. I bought it in 2002 and I still have the original retail packaging from the brick-and-mortar store.
Fast forward to 2010. My 68 year old dad's XP install got corrupted and he couldn't boot. He lives far away, so I told him I would fix it when I visit next (I still have the packaging and the XP and '98 discs because I didn't want him to lose them... and he wouldn't know what to do with them anyway). He decided he needed his computer back in service before I could visit so he took the computer into a computer repair shop.
The guy at the repair shop told my dad that the since the Certificate of Authenticity sticker was not on the PC case that the operating system on the computer was illegal. My dad explained that his son (me) built the computer for him and the repair shop guy accused me of installing a pirated copy because you have to include the CoA with the computer. My dad, thinking he's legally in the wrong, gets talked into purchasing a full retail copy of Windows 7 ($200) and the shop also charges him labor to do the install on his computer.
Now, after my dad told me what happened, I was naturally furious! #1 I'm being called a theif and that really pisses me off, #2 My elderly father got swindled for several hundred $$$. First thing I did (since I'm no legal expert) was pull out the retail WinXP Upgrade packaging to look for the CoA and I don't see a CoA sticker... only the product key can be found. My retail Vista has one, but not the XP. I looked online to see what it looks like, and I could only find this site that has examples of full version CoA's (remember, this XP is from 2002). I don't see it anywhere.
And now that I look closely, both of my current Windows 7 licenses were purchased directly from Microsoft. They gave me an iso to download and emailed me my activation keys. I do not have retail packaging. No CoA again?!
So before I either call the repair shop and give them a piece of my mind AND/OR report them to the Better-Business-Bureau, can someone give me some insight as to whether or not you must put a CoA on the PC case to keep the OS legal? Also, it seems CoA's are not distributed with all media (especially downloaded). Anyone with a circa 2002 XP upgrade package that can confirm it comes with a CoA sticker???
I have a circa Windows XP 2002 Retail upgrade installation CD with original packaging. I have to go into the garage and pull out the old Pentium 3 system and the box everything is stored in, but I can tell you if there is a sticker with it or not. I never used a sticker with that upgrade CD. I think your dad will have a hard time returning the Windows 7 installation DVD he was told he should purchase. I suppose you could write a letter to the management of the store. And possibly to the state attorney generals office. That will get the store's attention. Be sure to write detailed, concise explanation to the state's attorney general's office stating you complaint.